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Hosting VOIP

My boss is considering offering VOIP as a hosted solution to his clients. Just curious to see what would be needed to even begin considering something like this.

All I can think of is that we would need to have space in a Datacenter for sure.

any other ideas?

what kind of software is needed to actually provide users with this option or anything else that you guys can think of.

thanks
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vmagan
Asked:
vmagan
2 Solutions
 
Cliff GaliherCommented:
VoIP is probably one of the most difficult and expensive services to host. The biggest expense os that it *really* takes deep technical knowledge.

Hosting email is easy. SMTP has had thirty years to mature, interoperability is nearly ubiquitous, and if a router or component is slightly slow, no big deal.

For VoIP, there are dozens of SIP variants that don't interoperate. More proprietary implementations not based on SIP at all. And how do you troubleshoot a solution when the customer calls and says their audio is cutting in and out? Unlike email, even small variances impact real-time voice.

So really, the first thing you need, more than anything else, is a specialist on staff who knows VoIP forwards and backwards. It isn't like other services where you can have a team of savvy IT generalists and get by on a case by case basis.
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José MéndezCommented:
I agree with Cliff. For example, typically, people is used to send and receive faxes. Faxes are a big headache when it comes to VOIP.

A few things to answer your question directly:
- you need bandwidth
- an interconnection with a Telephone Company to route your customer calls out
- a feature list that will be offered to your customers (like for example music on hold, call transfers, voicemail, voicemail to email, speed dials, Corporate Directory, all that stuff)
- phones that support the features mentioned
- security
- a device on each office that would connect that office securely with the datacenter
- security and
- security

HTH
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JRSCGICommented:
A leading choice for software to run a quality hosted VoIP environment is Broadsoft.  
http://www.broadsoft.com/products/broadworks/

For those that really know what they are doing, there are platforms running on Asterisk (as open source, it is cheaper to obtain).

There are firms out there that will let you "white label" their service if the reason to offer VoIP is to enhance your relationship with the client rather than as a big revenue source.

The first post is important - the big cost of providing the service is not the software, hardware, or data center space; it is the operating expense / overhead.
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